The very first tourist attraction that we visited here in New Zealand was Muriwai Beach, it was winter. It's 42kms west of Auckland CBD, and took us about 40 minutes drive to get there. When we arrived, all I could say was it's definitely worth the drive. The beach was a paradise by itself, unique, plus it didn't have any entrance fees unlike some of the beaches in the Philippines.
What makes Muriwai beach unique is its volcanic black sands, powerful waves crashing to shore and site of one of few mainland gannet (Takapu) breeding colonies. It has also a playground for children near the parking area.
The black sand is caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area, including the large “Kaipara Volcano” which was situated offshore from the Kaipara Heads, and erupted 16-23 million years ago.
I know what you’re thinking, "why visit the beach in the winter?" You'd be surprised because I was when I saw locals surfing and swimming down there. Some were even fishing by the rocks. "I then remembered a familiar line from the Disney movie Frozen - the cold never bothered me anyway"
Before we left the place, we got to visit the famed gannet colonies. A short walk along a purpose built boardwalk leads to a cliff-top viewing platform right above the main colony area. The colony continues on two vertical-sided islands.
Looking down at the edge of the platform, the sight of hundreds of gannets flying high above or resting on the nest with the sound of chattering birds – what a spectacular show of nature. The views from the colony were magnificent! We can see the vast ocean and the line of black sand.
As soon as the sun nearly sets and the wind got colder, we decided to go back home. My heart felt happy as it was my first time to see an “infinity beach”. Infinity I must say because it is never ending, no islands across to see.